Archive for May, 2012

The Heat Remains….
May 7, 2012

The numbers are in for April. It has some good and some bad… but not too terribly bad. If that makes sense. The average monthly temperature for April finished at Will Rogers World Airport came in at 65.3 degrees. I know that probably doesn’t mean much to you, but in order to understand how warm (or cool) we were, we have to factor the morning low temperature and the high temperature in order to get the average temperature.

So, 65.3 degrees puts April 2012 as the 10th warmest April since records have been kept. For rainfall, we finished 2.85″ above normal, or in this case, the 9th wettest April on record.

So, how warm have we been lately? Well, April cracked the top 10 warmest on record. March was the warmest March on record. February was still warmer than normal, but nothing that was too extreme. January too was warmer than normal, the 7th warmest January on record to be exact. And December, warmer than normal, but nothing too wild.

So, if you’re keeping track at home, only 2 of the last 12 months in Oklahoma City have been below normal.

And while we can’t say for certain what will happen this summer, it’s important to remember that just because these past few months have been warm, does not mean that this summer too will be warm. We’ll just have to wait and see.



Just When You Thought We Were Done….
May 7, 2012

Spring time can be a funky season. For Oklahoma, we’re usually forecasting severe weather. But in Colorado, imagine forecasting severe weather and snow.

This past weekend, a weak impulse and enough forcing in the atmosphere, combined with just enough moisture lead to a healthy coating of snow in the Colorado Rockies. 4-8 inches seemed to be common above 9000 feet.

By looking at pictures from the area, the roads, other than a bit slushy were good to drive on. But, is this abnormal? Not really. I have been in snow events in Colorado even in July and August. I once climbed Grays Peak in 20 degree temps and snow, only to get off the mountain and hang in downtown Denver later that day with near 90 degree temps.

Still though, it’s always fun as a meteorologist to see how much the weather can change in just a few thousand feet.



Saturday’s Supermoon
May 5, 2012

Saturday at 10:34 pm, the moon will reach perigee, its closest point to the Earth.  The moon is expected to be 14% bigger this year and 30% brighter.  The best time to view is when the moon is near the horizon.  At this point, it will appear its biggest as we compare it to objects such as trees and houses. 

Tonight’s weather forecast is mostly clear to partly cloudy with lows in the low 70s. Breezy south/southeast winds at 10-20 mph.

Send us your pics at Ulocal at! 

-Danielle Dozier Twitter: @DanielleDozier

13 Years Ago….
May 3, 2012

Here in Oklahoma, it’s become a way of living. Living with tornadoes. And to this date, the tornado that struck Moore on May 3rd, 1999 still stands as the strongest tornado recorded.

Of course, this topic is debatable. The device that recorded the tornado was a mobile doppler. Not every tornado has a mobile doppler right next to it tracking it’s every move and there no telling how strong the winds are in tornadoes that sweep across open land, miles away from any sort of mobile radar.

So, yes, the tornado still holds the title of strongest tornado on record, though it’s not for certain.

Tornado in between I-44 and I-35 in Cleveland County.

Here is the velocity image of the tornado after just crossing over I-35 in Moore.


New Drought Monitor = :)
May 3, 2012

In keeping with the current weather theme. (The earlier blog showed pictures of the drought improving, now we’re looking at the numbers). The drought is moving out of Oklahoma faster than a Kardashian marriage.

On September 27, 2011, 100% of the state was under some form of a drought. That’s right….100%!. This mornings release of the drought monitor looks much better. Today, only 14% of Oklahoma is dealing with a drought. OKC is drought free!  The worst conditions are still in Texas and Cimarron Counties where EXTREME DROUGHT conditions are being reported. Tillman and Jackson Counties are also reporting EXTREME DROUGHT conditions. The drought only improved slightly from last week as most of the heavy rain fell over land that was not under a drought.

If you jump into the numbers even deeper, at the end of September, 68% of the state was under the worst drought category you can have, EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT. Today, that number is now 4%.

So, the drought continues to improve, but more work is necessary out west.


Oklahoma: Then & Now
May 3, 2012

If you haven’t noticed, Oklahoma is green! We’re now fresh into May and after going through one of the worst droughts in recent memory, things aren’t looking all that bad out there. Check out the image below:

The image above was taken on May,2nd 2011. Sometimes you don’t need to look at numbers in order to understand how bad a drought is. In this case, you can see that Western Oklahoma was very brown during what is suppose to be one of the wettest months of the entire year. The drought was on-going and it’s possible that as the air moved over the dry soil, it lead the drought spreading into Eastern Oklahoma. As the soil dried, the temperatures started to climb..and climb…and climb.  Now, check out this photo:

Do you see any thing different? How about the fact that Western Oklahoma, which was all brown last May is now showing new life, literally! The image above was taken yesterday and yes, the drought is improving and it’s the green grass and soil moisture out west that may help keep temperatures from getting too crazy this summer. Of course, we do live in an area that can sometimes go through extended periods of dry weather, but if we continue to see rainfalll every 2 weeks or so, then that may be just enough to keep us from seeing periods of 100 degree heat…. or so we hope.


SPC & OKC Thunder = Good Relationship
May 2, 2012

Sounds like a silly title right? I mean, here I am trying to find the relationship between The Storm Prediction Center and The Oklahoma City Thunder. Sports vs Science. And while I believe there is no better team in the NBA than the Oklahoma City Thunder, I especially believe there is no better team name than THE THUNDER! Roll with me on this one …you’ll see why.

You see, there seems to be a pretty nice relationship between when SPC issues a chance for severe storms and when the Thunder win playoff games.

Let’s start with April 3, 2010. This was the day that OKC secured their 1st playoff birth. The risk map for that day looked like this:

A SLIGHT RISK for severe storms in Southeastern Oklahoma.

The Thunder played The Lakers in the 2010 playoffs. On April 22 when The Thunder recorded their 1st playoff win. The risk map for that day was this:

A SLIGHT RISK for severe storms across most of Oklahoma.

2 days later, when The Thunder beat The Lakers again, the risk map was as follows:

That year, The Thunder went 2-1 in the playoffs when The Storm Prediction Center issued a risk for  Oklahoma.

Now let’s jump to 2011 and the playoff run here. On the date that OKC clinched a playoff spot, it just so happened that there was a SLIGHT RISK for severe weather in Eastern Oklahoma that day.

The Thunder went 4-1 in the 1st round of playoffs. Game 1 had no risk for severe weather, but yet The Thunder won vs. Denver. Games 2,3 and 5, all games that The Thunder won had a SLIGHT RISK for severe weather somewhere in the state. So, if you’re keeping track, when SPC issued a risk for severe weather in Oklahoma, the Thunder were 3-0

The 2nd round of playoffs vs. Memphis took a bit longer to play (7 games). Game 1, in which The Thunder lost did have a SLIGHT RISK for severe weather in Oklahoma. Game 2, there was not a risk for severe weather. Game 4 in which OKC won did have a risk for severe weather as did Game 5. So, on days which SPC issued a risk and The Thunder won, OKC was 2-1.

The lone game that OKC won vs Dallas in last years playoffs, SPC did issue a risk. 2 other games vs Dallas in which SPC issued a risk, Dallas won. Booooooo ! So, we went 1-2 that series when SPC issued a risk and The Thunder won.

And now here we are. The day that OKC won the division this year, the risk map from SPC looked like this:

A SLIGHT RISK for severe weather in Southern Oklahoma

And since we’re only 2 games into the playoffs, we do know that on Game 1 and Game 2 this past week, we did have a severe risk that was posted by The Storm Prediction Center. In the last 3 years, The OKC Thunder clinched a playoff spot twice (out of 3) when SPC issued a risk.

So, if you’re keeping track on when SPC issues a risk for severe weather and what The Thunder do during the playoffs:

10-3 record when SPC issues a risk and The Thunder play in the playoffs. Oh..and btw, the risk for severe weather tomorrow, when OKC plays Dallas looks like this






May Tornado Stats and Outlook
May 2, 2012

It’s that time of year where every time we have precipitation chances, we have to think about the threat for tornadoes too.  I found some stats on Oklahoma tornadoes for the month of May:

Turns out, we average 22 tornadoes during the month, dating back to 1950.  The most we’ve ever seen is 90, in the years 1999 and 2010.  2005 recorded zero tornadoes.

I looked at some weather models and there are some storm chances for Oklahoma over the next two weeks. The latest outlook from the Climate Prediction Center calls for an equal chance of seeing either below or above normal precipitation in May.

Tornadoes are unpredictable.  As meteorologists, we’re constantly gathering new information on storm structure.  Each storm is different.  Some storms are just “pulse storms,” ones that you find on a typical summer afternoon.  These type can quickly produce heavy rainfall, hail, and damaging winds.  However, the tornado threat is very small.  Other storms can become supercellular.  These can produce all of the above plus deadly tornadoes.  But, not every supercell storm produces a mesocyclone. 

Technology, such as Doppler Radar, can pinpoint an area of weak or strong rotation, favoring the development of a twister, but whether one forms is up to Mother Nature. 

Analysis of past events helps us gather new information on the structure of storms which will help us better-predict tornadoes in the future.

Remember, whether there is just one tornado in a month, or 90, it only takes one storm to produce a violent tornado that can cause considerable damage.  In Oklahoma, we know this all too well.

-Danielle        Twitter: @DanielleDozier

Tired of the Warmth?
May 1, 2012

It’s May, but if you look at the weather for this week, it may resemble that of late June. The warmth is back (as I mentioned in a previous blog post). But, the warmth won’t be here for long as it appears the cold fronts that have gone missing this week will be returning in about 8-14 days 🙂 (a few fronts may come close though)

The 8-14 day outlook has been issued and seems to highlight The Southern Plains has having a higher than normal chance of seeing BELOW NORMAL temperatures. Hey, I’m OK with that. So, what is normal for the middle of May?

Average highs near 80 and average lows in the upper 50s are typical. But, this set-up may bring something even cooler than that for next week. How cool are we talking here? By around the 10th of May, the models think a front strong enough to drop our highs into the 60s for a few days may occur.

Not bad… I’m ok with cooler than normal in May. Save some $$ on my A/C bill before that summer heat really cranks up.


Severe Weather Wreaks Havoc In The Southern Plains
May 1, 2012

Take a look at these storm reports from Texas to Oklahoma to Kansas.  Severe storms rolled through Monday night producing tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail, and heavy rainfall!

There were six tornado reports, 40 high wind reports, and 74 hail reports.

A Tornado Watch was posted in the early evening for Oklahoma counties and by 7:43 pm, tornado warnings were being issued.  The town of Medford was hit by a tornado, possibly more in the vicinity.  Our mesonet site there recorded an 84 mile-per-hour wind gust!  Nowata, OK also had several tornado reports. Outflow from severe storms produced wind gusts as high as 62 miles-per-hour at Will Rogers World Airport.

Minco, OK had a 78 mile-per-hour gust.  In Earlsboro, Pottawatomie Co., there was a report of a 70 mile-per-hour gust that damaged an outbuilding.

Golfball-sized hail fell across the state.  Heavy rainfall also caused problems, especially in northern Oklahoma.  Kay County, which saw 6-8″ of rainfall over the past day and a half, saw even more rain Monday night!

A Flood Warning remains in effect for the Salt Fork River at Tonkawa until May 2, 10 pm.

The days to come will be quiet and warm with highs in the mid to upper 80s.

By: Danielle Dozier      Twitter: @DanielleDozier